Minnesota Farmer


FB Council of County Presidents

Yesterday was the Minnesota Farm Bureau’s Council of County Presidents meeting.  It was held in the University  Club in Downtown St. Paul.  The Council of Presidents has two main purposes. One is to get Farm Bureau county presidents together to meet with policy makers, and the second is to get some training in how we can influence policy makers.

Among those attending were Governor Tim Pawlenty, MN DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten, MN Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gene Hugoson and MN PCA Assistant Commissioner Rebecca Flood.  An evening reception and meal was attended by 14 state senators, 25 state representative and several U.S. congressional and senate aids.

Our message to these policy makers revolved around our priority issues, these are;

  • Animal Care: Livestock producers are committed to animal care.  They do everything possible to protect their animals from disease, predators and severe weather.  They do this with the help of their veterinarian in the best scientifically established manner.
  • Food Safety:  Farmers and ranchers are committed to producing a safe and abundant food supply for all consumers.  We are committed to maintaining and enhancing consumer confidence in our food supply system.
  • Renewable Transportation Fuels:  Farm Bureau is a strong supporter of increased use of renewable transportation fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.
  • Transportation:  Farm Bureau supports the expansion and improvement of all existing freight lines so that farm and ranch commodities can reach their markets in a safe and timely manner.
  • Green House Gas Reduction:  Greenhouse gas reduction policies must, recognize regional differences in how energy is produced, be affordable for all Americans, be realistic and achievable and have a positive outcome for agriculture.
  • Water Quality:  Farm Bureau supports the need for peer reviewed scientific data when addressing impaired waters.  Clean water is important to us, our families, our communities and the world.

This is the fourth year that I have attended this meeting.  I always come away with some new information to help me tell the story of American agriculture.

Michael

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